It’s very easy to take life personally. Our ego gets bruised, reality can seem harsh, we feel like a victim in challenging circumstances, and we’re left wondering what we did to deserve it all?
The problem with taking life personally, is we start to wonder what is wrong with us when things aren’t going our way. We start believing we are flawed, or think that, if somehow we had done things differently, life would treat us kinder.
But when we can take a step back, and get a broader perspective on the world (and the universe) we realise that life is in fact impersonal. We can see that life isn’t all about us, and that the world (or others) aren’t ‘out to get us’ in anyway. It’s only our thoughts and perspective on a situation that causes us to see it as negative. The situation itself stays neutral.
This is a good thing! It means we can take positive action on things we want to change and then let go of whether or not it turns out how we planned. We can speak our truth and express ourselves openly without being hurt if we don’t please others. We can dream about (and create) seemingly impossible projects without living in fear of failure.
Because life will go on. The sun will rise and fall, the seasons will change, and people will be born and pass away. And in your life too, there will be happiness and sadness, celebration and grieving, achievements and challenges, gain and loss.
It’s a part of life, and getting attached to only the ‘good’ and rejecting what feels ‘bad’ won’t serve you. You’ll only get caught deeper in a cycle of thoughts, convincing yourself that you drew the short straw in life.
But when you open yourself to genuinely experience and appreciate both ends of the spectrum, you’ll find you’ll suffer less. You’ll see the gift in even the most difficult of circumstances, you won’t be offended if others don’t always agree with your opinions, and you’ll recognise that just because you feel pain, you don’t need to be miserable.
I know this might sound easier said than done when things seem tough, so here’s three things you can do to get perspective when you feel like you’re in neck deep:
1. Spend time connecting with nature. Being in the presence of nature, and appreciating its power and beauty, can help you recognise that you are one part of a magnificent whole. It can leave you feeling humbled at the wonder and intelligence of the wider world in which we live, and help you be grateful for simply being a part of it.
2. Look for the lesson in your experience. It’s all too easy to see what’s wrong or what’s not going so well for you in life. But when you can look for what’s serving you in a challenging situation, what you’re learning, and how the experience will help you evolve into the best version of who you are, you will feel more empowered.
3. Turn personal challenges into contribution. Our biggest crises are often our biggest blessings. They can wake us up to who we truly are and inspire us to greater things. When you can use a challenging situation to grow, learn, and then share that learning with others, you’ll find greater meaning and appreciation for your life experiences.
What would transform in you own life, if you approached challenging circumstances with a new perspective, and stopped taking life so personally?
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